As we head into late summer, The Community’s Garden (TCG) is teeming with a variety of herbs, vegetables, flowers and pollinators. Located on DCMC’s campus at 16th Place in Sturgeon Bay, TCG is a 501c3 organization which leases the garden space from the hospital for $1 a year. The 20’ X 20’ plots are rented to individuals for $40 each year. In promoting good health, DCMC offered employee discounts on 10 plots this growing season, plus there is a 50% reduction on the rental fee for families who receive SNAP benefits through FoodShare, WI.
The mission of The Community’s Garden is to showcase the connection between a community’s well-being and nature. This year, 43 gardeners are harvesting 42 plots, rounding out yet another successful growing season at TCG. “The garden is a laboratory for learning,” says Carmen Schroeder, a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist at DCMC and board member of TCG, “it provides access to gardening, a place for healing and camaraderie, and a way for the community to work together to be good stewards of our land.”
Carmen says it has been exciting to see the garden evolve and to meet new strategic goals over the years. At the start of this year’s season, five raised garden beds were added to accommodate gardeners. Whatever your level of gardening proficiency, there is room for you to grow at The Community’s Garden!
Carmen’s Top 9 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food at The Community’s Garden:
- TCG provides individuals with the opportunity to grow affordable & nutritious vegetables and herbs that can be eaten during the growing season or processed for eating throughout the year;
- TCG provides access to garden plots to individuals who lack ideal growing conditions at their homes;
- TCG provides ease in access. Plots are tilled at the start of each season, on-site irrigation is conveniently located, and deer and rabbit fences have been installed to protect the plants;
- The start-up costs associated with a new food garden, as well as the maintenance costs, are close to non-existent; all of the necessary tools to get your garden started (and to keep it going) are provided on-site, while the City of Sturgeon Bay donates mulch and compost;
- The garden is used for community service. Gardeners grow the crops with the intention to donate to local food pantries;
- Families who utilize the SNAP program have a free resource to grow their own nutritional, almost home-grown produce;
- TCG provides a learning environment to new and future gardeners. Gardening classes are provided on-site with various topics pertinent for the growing season;
- TCG is Community; gardeners have the opportunity to learn from others, share with others, or rely on others to assist with tasks such as watering or harvesting in their absence;
- In addition to growing food, TCG provides opportunities to be with other people, to appreciate nature, and to get physically active.
For more information on The Community’s Garden program, including information on classes, events, membership and plot rentals, please contact DCMC to sign-up: 920-743-5566, ext 3920 or call 920-743-6005. You can also follow us on Facebook.